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The Costello Show? WHAT????

I first owned Elvis Costello and the Attraction’s Live At El Mocombo as a boot in 1978, it was a great recording of a good set, but I owned better (though not better sounding) at the time. It was officially released in 1993 as part of the box set 2 1/2 Years, and was also made available to those who bought the other three CDs separately. It’s a pretty good live album, recorded in Toronto and with EC snarling “We’ve come to ask for our country back…”. Half My Aim Is True and half This Years Model and all taken fast and hard with the Attractions at full trottle. Though 1978 it was more punk than new wave and what it lacks in nuance it makes up with in brute force.
But why the fuck Elvis is making this the first release of his The Costello Show live performance series on Lost Highway records of complete concerts is beyond me. I can’t think of anything more anticlimatic. Everybody who wants it owns it. Does he not have the early Stiff tour on tape? Or even before that, the D.P. Costello material I would kill to hear from when he performed country-pub rock and opened for bands like Dr. Feelgood in 1975.
The only other album officially mentioned is Elvis’ performance at Hollywood High in California. Again, anybody who bought Armed Forces back in the day got a some of these songs on a free EP given away with the initial release. Though I am more excited about this one because there are only three songs on the EP including a terrific “Watching the Detectives” and I wouldn’t mind hearing the lot. I did think he was a bit better on the Model than the AF tour and I’d like to confirm my memory with my own ears.
I am really excited about this, it is simply the best idea he’s had in years. Costello has never released enough live stuff, always just add on tracks to EPS and extended albums. There are tons of Costello concerts I want to hear again. It is just a real pity he chose such a completely naff way to begin the series.

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